Whether or not your state requires homeschool assessment it is a good idea to keep a record of your child’s schoolwork each year. One way to do this is by keeping a portfolio. Homeschool portfolios can be as in depth or simple as you want to make them.
Step 1: Choose a binder large enough to hold your child’s work. For many this will need to be at least 1 ½”. If you are not going to be including Math or Grammar samples due to having them somewhere else (like a workbook), you can get by with a little smaller.
Step 2: Purchase tabbed dividers and filler paper to organize your child’s homeschool portfolio.
Step 3: Decide how to organize the portfolio. Are you going to divide it up by subject, month, season, or quarter? How you divide it up is ultimately up to you.
Step 4: Include important documents like your homeschool approval letter (if you have one), a list of curriculum used, and a sample school calendar. This should all go right in the front of the portfolio.
Step 5: Start putting in samples of work. Many parents only put in their child’s best work, but that is not always a good idea. You want to see a progression throughout the year, so it is okay to put in work that is “so/so”. Good ideas to include in the portfolio are Math drill sheets, grammar tests, book reports, science experiment papers, artwork, History notes, and any other item you deem important. Don’t forget about field trips! I always grab a pamphlet from every place we go and put it in the kid’s portfolios. Field trips are learning experiences too.
When it comes to organizing a homeschool portfolio, don’t stress! Homeschool portfolios do not have to be difficult or overwhelming. Make them fun! Let your kids pick what they want to keep. You may be surprised what they deem important enough to hold on too. Also, snap a few pictures throughout the year and at the end place them in the portfolio with their end of the year assessment (if required). I am always surprised how much my children have grown from the first of the year to the end. Homeschool portfolios are supposed to highlight your child’s work, but they can also serve as a “yearbook” of sorts. One day you may be looking through them with your grandkids remembering all the fun that homeschooling was that year.
Misty Bailey is a Christian wife and homeschool mom. She resides with her family in Southern Ohio. She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey. You can also find her on Facebook and Pinterest.
Cassidy Cash is a math educator, homeschool mom, author, and speaker. For over 12 years Cassidy has been the tutor schools and educators call in when they have students who are failing math. Over the years of helping failing math students what she came to find is that most of the students were not failing math because of any learning disability or cognitive learning gap. Instead, what she discovered is that the majority of those students needed someone to explain the math in terms they could understand—to use real world activities and demonstrations to make the math come alive. Once the explanation was given in terms the student related to personally, almost all of Cassidy’s students return to their math classes to achieve A’s and B’s in their classes. Seeing that there were many students who needed this kind of help, but too many to be able to work with them each personally, Cassidy created her blog, http://www.cassidycash.com , to share with other tutors, parents, students, and educators the methods she had discovered to help students succeed in math. She also founded the company, Have Fun Learning, to provide active education lesson plans that bring science-lab type activities to the math class. Her most recent book, “9 Myths about High School Math and the truth that brings peace to your kitchen table” is available as an ebook on Amazon.com. Cassidy lives in Birmingham, AL with her husband, Tim, and their two sons.
Mari Fitz-Wynn and her husband, Edward, homeschooled their six children over the course of seventeen years. She is the founder and president of Heart to Home School Ministries, Inc., a 501 c (3) organization that sponsors an annual winter conference and back to school seminar to provide opportunities for veteran home educators to develop mentoring relationships with new home school families. She is a popular speaker and has been invited to speak to women’s conferences and retreats throughout the US and outside of the country.
Van is a life learner and loves to teach. After having children, her husband simply suggested that if she wants to teach, then she should teach her own. She decided to leave her corporate career to homeschool her three daughters, incorporating her business background and her Vietnamese culture.
She would like to share her insight and experience with fellow homeschoolers to help make the most of their homeschooling years. She is continuing her teaching propensity by tutoring, mentoring, and writing columns in the local newspaper which can be found in The Gwinnett Daily Post and The Buford Illustrated.
Dwayne is self-taught artist with a huge passion for creativity. Ever since he was eight years old he was interested in art, and at age ten he sold his first drawing to his Aunt for $5. That was a lot of money at that age, so he decided to engage in his first form of entrepreneurial education by walking house-to-house in his neighborhood selling his artwork.
By middle school, everybody knew him as an artist. In 8th grade, his Language Arts teacher criticized him for bringing his art portfolio to every class with him because she saw it as a distraction. One day she got fed up, pulled him outside of the classroom for a one on one, held his art portfolio in her hand, looked him in the eyes and said, “This won’t get you anywhere in life, my class will.” The competitive nature in him saw that as a challenge because his passion for art trumped any negativity. he practiced drawing twice as hard, stayed up twice as late and studied twice as much. he went on to win highly competitive art competitions locally, statewide and nationally.
Dwayne was interviewed by CBS news and the AJC about his experience winning a contest that granted an all expense paid trip to Italy to diversify his art skills. he was honored to sell his artwork to Thomas Arvid, one of the top artists in the world. he was requested four times to do live drawings at Frank Ski’s Celebrity Wine Tastings accompanied by executives of fortune 500 companies and celebrities such as NeYo, Chris Tucker, Dikimbe Mutumbo and Dr. J.
Art is about experimenting and trial and error and his talent improved drastically because of his work ethic and willingness to step out of his comfort zone. By 17 years old, he was proficiently self-taught in graphite, charcoal, and pastel drawing, oil and acrylic painting, and graphic design. Art taught him how to facilitate the details of his own ideas, how to effectively communicate his ideas to others and how to think critically about how he see the world around him.